Music 192B [2017]:
Advanced Sound Recording Technology

Course Description

Topics: theory and practical use of dynamics processing (compression and expansion/gating), digital audio workstation recording, mixing and editing (Pro Tools and Logic Pro), time-delay-based audio effects, principles of digital audio including A/D and D/A conversion, digital filters, digital signal transmission, digital recorders and advanced multitrack techniques including automation, monitoring, mastering and product delivery including media. The class involves a recording project as well as lectures and demonstrations.

Course work: The course is centered around a final project. The student is required to complete a substantial recording project before the end of winter quarter. Studio exercises and homework assignments will be given and account for 25% of the grade, the remaining 75% will be the recording project.

Class Schedule and Lecture Notes

Week 1: Digital Effects and Dynamic Range Processing
Reading: Sound And Recording: Ch. 13
Studio Exercise 1 (Due Monday Jan 30 [Week 4])

Week 2: Digital Audio Workstations
Reading: Principles of Digital Audio: Ch. 14

Week 3: Way Inside Digital Audio
Reading: Principles of Digital Audio: Ch. 3, pp 62-75; Ch. 18, pp 693-700; Ch. 4, pp 108-112; (Ch. 5 optional); Ch. 13, pp 485-501

Week 4: Physical Delivery Media: CDs, Vinyl and Cassettes
Reading: Principles of Digital Audio: Ch. 6 and Ch. 7, pp. 187-235.
Homework 1 [Due Week 8]

Week 5: Monitoring and Mixing
Reading: Sound and Recording: Ch. 4.
Reading: Mixing: Science and Philosophy

Week 6: Mastering
Reading: Sound and Recording: Chapter 10, pp. 294-306.

Week 7: Visit to The Archive of Recorded Sound

Week 8: Network Audio
Reading: Principles of Digital Audio: Ch. 15

Week 9: New Digital media: SACD...
Reading: Principles of Digital Audio: Ch. 7, pp. 235-243, Ch. 8.

Final Project

The final project is due at the final class meeting (dead week), Wednesday, March 8 at 10:30am. We will meet in the studio and listen to everyone's work. The projects should be about 5 minutes long (1 or 2 songs or equivalent amount of material). They should be edited to eliminate unwanted sounds before and after the selections, either by editing or by using automation on the mixing board. Submissions should be on CD-R or played from the control room computer. Grading will consider the technical aspects of the recording, including the sound of the recording (i.e. noise, pops/clicks, tonal balance, sound of instruments), editing/presentation of the final product (i.e. levels, balance, etc.), and the difficulty and complexity of the project. You should be prepared to describe to the class what you did and how you did it.

Course Materials

Course text

Principles of Digital Audio, 6th Edition
Ken C. Pohlman, Mcgraw Hill Book Co., 2011

Supplementary text

Advanced Digital Audio
Ken Pohlman, Ed., SAMS, 1991

Administrative Information

Music 192B meets on Monday and Wednesday, from 10:30am to 11:50am. Winter quarter only, in the Knoll classroom.

Units: The class is 3 units and may be taken credit/no credit.

Prerequisite: Music 192A.

Office Hours: Monday/Wednesday, 9-10 am or by arrangement. At other times I can be reached by email.

Office location: Knoll Room 106

General Information: Feel free to browse through the "CCRMA User's Guide" which highlights the available facilities and how to best use them. The document also includes a link to the FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions")... try to browse through them before asking questions....

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